“Not My Problem” Safety Talk
We have all heard someone say in the workplace, “it is not my problem” or “that is not my job”. They may have been referring to a coworker not following rules, someone doing a task wrong, or a hazard left by someone in the work area. Regardless of what the circumstances are, all of these scenarios affect everyone in the company.
Why it is Your Problem
No matter what the basic issue is, from someone not following safety rules or a hazard created by a coworker, it will affect you if an incident occurs. The ripple effect from an injury usually most greatly affects the individual’s family. However, it also will affect all of the workers in that workplace, the jobsite, and the company as a whole. This idea can sound extreme but we will look at the construction industry for an example.
Injury Rates Affect All
Injury rates affect both how much a company has to pay for insurance as well as a company’s ability to bid work. Many larger companies will not allow a contractor to bid any work for them after they exceed a certain injury rate. Many companies use the a 1.0 experience modification rate (EMR) as a starting point for considering contractor’s bids. If a company’s EMR is over 1.0 this means they have had more than the average rate of injuries for their industry. If the company’s EMR is below 1.0 then it means they are doing better than their peers in preventing injuries which usually equates to being more competitive in being able bid new work.
If the company is not able to bid new work or even lose existing jobs due to having incidents and injuries then it will affect you or your coworkers. More immediate effects of an injury include loss of hours or job shutdown. After an injury occurs, even minor ones, many companies will stop work to complete an investigation. If the injury or incident is more serious then there can be a few days where work is stopped to complete a thorough investigation.
We took a selfish approach to why it is your problem when there is an unsafe condition or someone is working unsafe. You should want a safe workplace outside of your own good and interests for all involved. However, remembering that it does truly affect you and the company as a whole when something is not right will encourage you to own whatever the hazard is and see it through that it gets corrected. Keep this thought in your mind as you go into work today and share it with your coworkers.